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J Clin Microbiol. Feb 1990; 28(2): 201–206.
PMCID: PMC269575

Cytopathic astrovirus isolated from porcine acute gastroenteritis in an established cell line derived from porcine embryonic kidney.


A cytopathic astrovirus was isolated from pigs with acute diarrhea in an established cell line that was derived from porcine embryonic kidneys with the aid of trypsin. The virus showed a distinct cytopathic effect characterized by an enlargement of cells and the appearance of fine granules in the cytoplasm. Porcine astrovirus was shown to have an RNA genome, as determined by the effect of 5-iodo-2'-deoxyuridine on its replication, and five polypeptides with molecular masses of 13,000, 30,000, 31,000, 36,000, and 39,000 daltons; and it was shown to be stable to lipid solvents and heating at 50 degrees C for 30 min but somewhat labile to acid (pH 3.0). The buoyant density of the isolate determined in CsCl was 1.35 g/ml. Seroconversion to the virus was evident in the paired serum specimens obtained from pigs with diarrhea that were housed at the farm where the disease occurred. The neutralization test on serum specimens collected randomly from 128 adult pigs of eight herds revealed that 50 of the serum specimens were positive for antibody to porcine astrovirus, although there was considerable variation in the prevalence among herds, ranging from 0 to 83%. Hysterectomy-produced, colostrum-deprived, 4-day-old pigs developed mild diarrhea after oral exposure to porcine astrovirus propagated in the cell culture; and the virus was isolated again from diarrheal stool specimens.

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